HL Deb 03 July 1877 vol 235 cc663-80

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, it would be in the recollection of their Lordships that last year they spent a considerable time in considering the provisions of the University of Oxford Bill. He then expressed a fear lest the labour which their Lordships had expended on that measure might become vain in consequence of the Bill being lost upon the sands of July. That had, unfortunately, turned out to be true. The Bill failed to pass that terrible ordeal which awaited measures in the other House, and which now appeared to be dangerous even to the most necessary measures for the defence of the country. That Bill was re-introduced this Session in the other House, and together with it was incorporated a Bill, which their Lordships had not yet seen, for the University of Cambridge. The objects of the Bill were the same as they were before, and the provisions, he thought, on the whole, had not been sensibly changed. The cause for the introduction of the Bill last year was that a Commission had been issued by the late Government, had sat and examined very carefully into the revenues of the University, and had ascertained that there was a considerable surplus of income more than was necessary for the purposes of the University, purely as an educational body, and that there would, in future years, be a very large increase in that already considerable sum. The Government were certain that Parliament would not consent that so large an addition to the resources of the University should be disposed of without due regard being had to the many wants which had been pointed out and admitted to exist at the University by men of all Parties there, and for which additional resources were requisite. New studies had been introduced, new branches of learning were attracting the attention of numberless students, and new classes of students unconnected with the old institutions and Colleges were flocking in every year to the University. To facilitate the prosecution of those new studies, and to attract and assist those new classes of students, pecuniary resources were very necessary. It was, therefore to bring that supply and that demand together that this Bill was prepared. The method which the Government recommended to Parliament for facilitating the application of those resources to those objects was a very simple one. It was nothing but the creation of a very competent Commission, armed with extensive powers. But they placed a limit to the action of the Bill. They refused to pass beyond the actual requirements of the case—the actual disposal of the money of which the Commission had indicated the existence for purposes which the University felt to be necessary; and the limit which they specially imposed on themselves was that they declined to enter into the difficult fields of controversy connected either with the government of the University, or with the position of the Ecclesiastical Bodies within it. They had not, on the one hand, confined the discretion of the Commission with respect to ecclesiastical subjects, nor, on the other, had they done anything of which the tendency would be to alter the ecclesiastical status quo. In the course of the discussion on the Bill two considerations were pressed on the Government, not only in the House, but by the principal authorities of the University themselves; and on their advice they inserted in the Bill a power for the Commission to deal with the Headships and Fellowships, without any restriction on the ecclesiastical destination of a certain number of those endowments. But at the same time provisions were introduced enforcing those prescriptions which Parliament by the University Tests Act had insisted upon six years ago—that religious instruction and religious worship for members of the Church of England should be provided in all the Colleges. To those objects and limitations they had adhered. The Bill had been altered in some few particulars, but the alterations did not affect its cardinal essence, or the main intention which they had in view. The great and most obvious change was that the University of Cambridge Bill had been incorporated with the University of Oxford Bill, and dealt with by analogous provisions. Beyond that, a considerable change had been made in the constitution of the Oxford University Commission. They found that a general feeling existed that some, at least, of the members of the Commission ought to be closely connected with the existing discipline and studies of the place. That defect was pointed out to him in the course of the passage of the Bill through the House. He confessed that his own inclination was in favour of keeping the Commission impartial in the controversies and contentions which, to an unfortunate extent, Oxford had occasionally experienced. But there was a dominant feeling in both Houses of Parliament that some of the Commissioners should be connected with the discipline and studies of the place; and that was pressed on him by Sir Henry Maine, who urged on him that his own place should be vacated for that purpose, and urged it so earnestly that he had hardly thought it fair to insist on holding Sir Henry Maine to his original promise. The Dean of Chichester had very kindly vacated his position as a Commissioner with the same object; and the two vacancies so made had been filled up by two Gentlemen well known in the University, and connected with its discipline and studies. He had yielded to the resignation of Sir Henry Maine with extreme reluctance; but, making all due allowance for that very great loss, he did not think that the Commission would, on the whole, be found to have seriously suffered by the change. Professor Henry Smith was so well known to many of their Lordships that he felt that change had been in one respect an advantage, from a point of view to which he attached considerable importance, as by that substitution science was now more strongly represented on the Commission than it was originally—namely, by Mr. Justice Grove only. Beyond that he had not any alteration of importance to note in the Bill. The Bill had grown considerably. The 48 clauses which had left that House had now swollen to 61, and the 12 pages had become 19. Some of that additional matter was owing to a certain number of special clauses, perhaps more interesting to the subjects of them than to the public at large. A number of Foundations had been specially named in particular clauses. But it was not necessary to draw their Lordships' attention to those matters of detail. He should be simply wasting their time by entering into them further. Their Lordships had last year fully discussed the measure, and all the principles on which it was founded. All that he had now to say was, that it was highly expedient for the Universities that that Bill should be passed and that controversy settled. It was not good for the Universities that they should be like iron-clads continually in dock, and subjected to perpetual criticism and change.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2ª"—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


who had given Notice to move as an Amendment on the Motion for the second reading— That legislation with reference to the Universities will be premature unless preceded by an inquiry into the working of the changes effected as to the state, studies, and discipline of those Universities by the legislation of 1854 and 1856, said, that when last Session the Bill dealing with the University of Oxford was laid before their Lordships, he ventured to submit to their consideration a Resolution similar in principle to that which he had placed on the Paper that evening. He regretted then, and he regretted now, to find himself in opposition to the views taken on that subject by Her Majesty's Government and those with whom he generally acted; and he was aware that though several noble Lords concurred in the objection he felt to parts of the Bill, the opinion that a fresh Commission of Inquiry was necessary did not elicit their support. At a later stage, however, two noble Lords on the other side had made a proposal based on very similar grounds in favour of an inquiry to be held by the Executive Commission about to be appointed before proceeding to act in an executive capacity. He (Lord Colchester) did not vote on that question because he certainly could not see that if an inquiry was to be held, it would be of very great use after the principles by which the Commissioners were to be guided were laid down by Parliament and the bounds of their sphere of action to some extent determined by the enumeration of the matters on which alone they were to touch. But since the University question had again come before Parliament opinions had been expressed elsewhere in favour of a view similar to that he had the honour of submitting last year—that before dealing in a very large—he might say in a very drastic—manner with these institutions, it would not be undesirable to investigate their present condition, to collect the opinions of those most conversant with the University in recent years, whether now holding office within it or not, and not commit those who were to carry out changes to any principles of reform until the grounds for such principles in the existing state of it had been established. He could but regard the Bill as proposed as premature in point of time, as in many points revolutionary, where revolutionary change might be hurtful; and, at the same time, leaving many points open which would prevent its effecting any great settlement, if such a settlement were possible. He thought this measure premature, because it was nearly 23 years since Parliament dealt with this subject in a manner which had in a great measure transformed at least the University of Oxford. But the full effects of that measure had scarcely yet been felt—they hardly could be until the whole generation dating from before the reforms of that period had passed away. The whole system of election to fellowships had been altered, and in a great measure, consequently, the character of the Colleges had been in a state of transmutation. He hardly thought it was yet time to pronounce altogether how much of what was new had been altogether good and how much was open to just criticism; and he thought all must acknowledge that nothing could be more unfortunate than that Parliament should be perpetually legislating on these matters, that a fresh University Reform Bill continually should be before the eyes of the Universities, and that the saying of the late Dean of St. Paul's should be realized, which he quoted to their Lordships on a previous occasion. That those who had once used Parliament as an engine for changes in the Universities exemplified Horace's maxim— Ut canis a corio nunquam absterrebitur uncto. If it could be shown that Oxford or Cambridge were falling into the decaying and lifeless condition in which they might have been 100 years ago, he could imagine it being said that not a moment should be lost in doing something to restore fresh life before another race of students had suffered from their inefficiency. But this was not contended. There was, it was true, one reason given against delay which he listened to with great respect because it came from the most rev. Primate. The most rev. Primate contended that it was important for the interests of the University to put an end by a final measure to the unrest and disquiet which the prospect and discussion of change occasioned. He (Lord Colchester) only ventured to doubt whether from what he knew of the general tone and temper of minds in Oxford on these questions, and perhaps also among those interested in them elsewhere, any measure—especially one such as now proposed to their Lordships—would stop the movement for further changes among those who did not find in it precisely the provisions desired by themselves. And in this doubt he was confirmed by what was said on that occasion by the noble Marquess himself— I do not entertain the illusory hope that the Bill will be a final effort. The idea of any Bill which will settle the question is a delusion. If, then, there was no imperative necessity for legislating at once and without a moment's delay, why were they to depart from the usual course—the course observed in former University legislation —the course usual when corporations or institutions were to be re-modelled? It was, he knew, said that there was information enough. We had had, it was said, one Commission as to the University revenues; we had had another exhaustive inquiry more than 20 years ago. Well, as to the former Commission, dealing solely with the revenues of these Bodies, taking no notice of their studies or management, it simply was calculated to raise many perplexities and solve nothing—to show apparent anomalies in the distribution of College funds, in no way assist to show if these anomalies had or had not their justification. As regarded the old Commission, no doubt the Report of that Commission was most valuable as to the state of the Universities at the time it was made; but it referred to a state of things so entirely past as to mislead rather than instruct anyone who had no information from other sources. Many great changes had been introduced in consequence of the inquiry of the Commission—and sufficient time had not yet elapsed to enable them to judge of their working; many arrangements proposed had not yet been introduced:—and he contended that to take the inquiry of the Commission of 1854, and to legislate upon it for the Universities now, would be very much like legislating for the municipalities at the present moment from the information obtained about the unreformed municipalities before 1835. The present measure was, therefore, premature, and in some respects it was revolutionary. Last year, he believed, some objection was taken to the phrase "College disendowment," as applied to this Bill. But there was no doubt that, using the word in a literal sense, whether it be thought a phrase of censure or not, such a description was applicable to a measure the main principle of which was to transfer a large part of the property of the Colleges to the University. The phrase "common fund" seemed to imply that all trace of the origin of funds raised from College property was to be obliterated, and all connection with the institutions bearing the name and commemorating the existence of those who founded them was to be dissolved. Then, again, without any investigation as to their relative usefulness, prize fellowships were to be largely swept away to make room for what were called additional facilities for education. The whole measure proceeded on the arbitrary assumption that those fellowships had little educational value. To those who had considered these fellowships an essential part of the University system, as a stimulus to study, which was one of its most valuable educational influences, this appeared a taint through the whole foundation of the measure, and one which would certainly prevent him from in any way acquiescing with its passing into law. Nothing, surely, was more important than to maintain the influence of University culture and University studies which had hitherto permeated English life. Nothing could be more fatal than in any way to make University studies and University distinctions appear otiose and unfruitful to all who did not intend to devote themselves to the profession of academic teaching. It would be an unhappy day alike for the University and the country when substantial prizes for University success should be in a great measure denied to those who were seeking careers in the outer world. All except those who were at once independent of all pecuniary considerations and endowed with a taste for University study of the higher kind would be tempted to look on it themselves or be encouraged by their friends to regard it as a superfluous and distracting pursuit, of little help to them in the work of professional life. It was true that these prize fellowships might not be wholly abolished—and he was glad to see that the special provisions most pointedly directed against them were not retained this year—but there did seem a disposition to reduce and pare them down to the lowest point. Their Lordships might remember how two men, famous both in public life and literature—Addison and Prior—each, when the turn of fortune withdrew them from public employment, fell back upon the College fellowship which he had never vacated during his years of activity in the service of the State. The Commissioners of 1852 said— When the University shall have been put in a condition to offer sufficient inducements to enable it to retain the ablest men in its service it may with safety leave them to follow their inclinations. Fellows thus elected may safely be allowed to pursue the career which they deem best for themselves. They will serve the University in their several professions more effectu- ally than they could by residence, within its walls. All our remarks have been made with the view of rendering fellowships rewards for past exertions as well as stimulants beforehand. That was the opinion of those who were eminently qualified to form an opinion upon this subject 23 years ago; and until that opinion was shown to be erroneous, he did not see why it should be put aside. There was another very important point on which as yet they had heard nothing—namely, in whom was to be vested the patronage of the offices to be created and to be paid out of the revenues hitherto administered by the Colleges. To place this patronage at the disposal of Convocation would certainly be contrary to the opinions of most persons who had given attention to the subject. If it were to be vested in the Crown, acting through its Ministers, that would be an arrangement which might not altogether work badly; but which would, whether for good or for evil, introduce, to an extent hitherto unknown, an element of ministerial and political influence into academical affairs. Or was some totally new mode of appointment to be created either within or without the Universities? This was a matter which would be admitted to be a very grave one—a matter not to be decided without a careful examination of various and conflicting considerations; and it was one on which the results of a formal inquiry might have been eminently valuable, and at any rate have spared them the necessity of handing over the alienated endowments of Colleges to be dealt with they knew not how. To pass from what the Bill attempted to settle to what it did not, the first point on which agitation was certain to continue was the clerical fellowship question. He was as desirous as anyone that fellowships of that class should not be done away with altogether, for he thought that since the passing of the University Test Act they were of greater importance than they had been at a previous time. But it did seem a question whether something was not required to strengthen their position before the world. It might be possible to a considerable extent to make them prizes for proficiency in theological study. Fellowships held by men specially distinguished in a different study from others could not be regarded as they sometimes were now, as representing a lower intellectual level than those altogether unrestricted. Another objection would be obviated if these fellowships in all cases required that anyone becoming a candidate should be either in holy orders or under a banâ fide engagement to take orders, whether clerical or not; so that the election to such a fellowship could no longer appear to bring persons into the clerical profession who would otherwise have felt no vocation for it, and would have sought a more congenial career in some other walk of life. Lastly, there was left untouched a subject well worthy of investigation—the constitution and government of the University. That constitution in the case of Oxford dated entirely from the last Commission. The Hebdomadal Council Congregations, as now constituted, and the relation of those bodies to Convocation, were entirely the work of legislation founded on the Report of that Commission. These arrangements were in some degree experimental; but they had been tried for 23 years, and if the time were come for dealing with University reform at all, it would be a not unfit question for inquiry whether they in any manner required amendment. He might say, in passing, that as in some quarters great importance was attached to the Hebdomadal Council having put forward a scheme involving a great extension of the Professoriate, the Hebdomadal Council, under the constitution which this Bill left unaltered, was only one of three branches of the University Legislature; and though its opinions were, of course, entitled to much weight, it could not—at least, by those who were satisfied with this Bill—be held to pronounce finally the opinion of Oxford. The composition and powers of these bodies were much controverted topics. Their Lordships had some discussion last year about the composition of Congregation. He (Lord Colchester) was not one of those who desired a change in this respect; but, believing as he did that the needlessness of such a change could be shown, he thought that a full investigation of the subject, such as would have formed part of the duties of an Inquiry Commission, would have given them surer foundations for a right conclusion. As to Convocation, he did desire to see some change in the form in which its functions were exer- cised. He did not wish to disfranchise the non-resident Masters of Arts in any other sense than the people of England were disfranchised when they sent Representatives to Parliament instead of assembling in a national mass-meeting to vote laws in the style of the Roman Comitia or the Landsgemeinde of Uri. But he would suggest that if it were possible to have a standing body of representatives, each chosen in proportion to their numbers by the Masters of Arts of his College, such a body, while on matters of ecclesiastical or political difference representing the same ideas as at present, would be composed of men carrying a personal weight and of widespread academical reputation, which would give them at once more efficiency and more real power than the chance-gathering of non-residents from all parts of the Kingdom to vote at some election or on some opposed statute with regard to which a few persons at the centre of affairs prosecuted an active canvass. It was not the same case as with the nonresident Fellows of Colleges. They were in general picked men; they were men who by the nature of the case were still intimately connected with the University, and in many cases had, within comparatively few years, been resident in it; while a large number of members of Convocation, never having had any special claim to authority on academic questions, had for the greater part of a lifetime lived altogether apart from University associations, and had no knowledge of their University as it had been since the days of their undergraduate life. What scheme of reform of Convocation was the most practicable might be an open question. The noble Lord opposite, who last year declined to raise the subject, because University reformers were not agreed on it, would, he imagined, have the same reason for not stirring it till Keble and Hertford Colleges were ready to celebrate a centenary. But it was precisely one of the questions which it would have been the duty of a Commission of Inquiry carefully to consider, and it was one of the misfortunes of legislating without inquiry that the House was not in a position to deal with it more satisfactorily. It was for these reasons, which he had endeavoured to go through as concisely as possible, that he had put this Resolution before their Lordships. He feared that some of the details through which he had gone might have been wearisome, though to many who had followed the affairs of the Universities to which they belonged they would not have been without interest. But, as having a deep regard for the welfare of these institutions, as believing that they were doing their work well and successfully, that any new legislation concerning them should be most cautious, most deliberate, and most careful, he could not, even if without support in this Motion, do otherwise than protest against the hasty and unfortunate course on which Parliament seemed about to enter. He begged, in conclusion, to move the Resolution of which he had given Notice.

Amendment moved, To leave out all after the word ("that") in order to insert the following words: ("that legislation with reference to the Universities will he premature unless preceded by an inquiry into the working of the changes effected as to the state, studies, and discipline of those Universities by the legislation of 1854 and 1856."—(The Lord Colchester.)


said, he was one of those who last year was not convinced by the arguments of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Colchester) of the necessity of hanging up the question of University Reform indefinitely for the purpose of once more instituting a large and formal investigation into the working of the Oxford and Cambridge University system; and he still remained unconvinced. The noble Lord had spoken with respect to the famous Oxford University Commission which sat to consider this question some 23 years ago; and, indeed, it was impossible to exaggerate its importance. The result of their investigation had been to throw a flood of light upon the whole question, which had not lost its effect down to the present time. The noble Lord had said truly that that inquiry, and the information it had produced, had been used for the purpose of bringing about the most beneficial, but, at the same time, the most radical, changes in the Oxford system. That was true enough; but it must not be forgotten that what it was sought to accomplish by means of the present Bill was a very much smaller and less ambitious result. The information which was then obtained could be very easily supplemented by the Commissioners to be appointed under this Bill, and a great deal of the further information sought would be found in the minds of the Commissioners themselves. The principal reason the noble Lord had given for asking for further investigation was his fear as to the future existence of College fellowships. For his own part, he had never been alarmed on this subject since he had first heard the statement of the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury), in spite of his denunciation of what he termed "idle fellowships." He had himself the utmost confidence in the powers of the Commission to be appointed under this Bill to resist any excessive or revolutionary changes; and indeed his fears took a direction contrary to those of the noble Lord on this point. He believed that a fund of prudence and a power of resistance would be found in some of the distinguished Members of the Commission which might completely relieve their minds of all fear on this subject. With regard to the Bill itself, it had, in his opinion, lost nothing by the delay of a year. On the whole, it was now a better considered measure than it was then. It had been improved on some points on which he himself had desired to see a change made; and the noble Marquess opposite had evidently paid every attention to the criticisms which were offered last year by noble Lords on both sides of the House. He was glad to see that Clause 11 provided that the Commissioners should not sanction schemes affecting any one College until they had devised a plan for dealing with the whole University. The clause relating to the principle upon which College contributions should be assessed was also a wise one, and he hoped that it would prevent such dangers arising as were apprehended last year. He thought that the Commissioners should carefully ascertain the requirements of the Universities, and be empowered then to decide the proportions in which each of the Colleges should subscribe to the common fund for carrying out the objects the Universities were founded to achieve. Further, he thought that common funds should be established in each University for the various useful educational purposes in connection with learning and research; and he therefore supported the Bill as far as that was concerned. His objections to the Bill were based not so much upon what it proposed to do as to what it would leave undone. His desire was to see such important problems solved as those which the noble Lord had mentioned, especially—for these were the chief omissions—as to the constitution of Convocation and Congregation, which at Oxford constituted the Legislative Body—and to the question of clerical fellowships. He hoped this last question would be discussed in the progress of the Bill. He agreed in the main with the terms of the Preamble of the Bill—that it is expedient that provision should be made for enabling or compelling the Colleges to contribute more largely to University purposes. With the qualifications he had mentioned, he was therefore ready to support the Bill.


said, he was most anxious that the Bill should be passed this Session—and that, he hoped, might be regarded as a matter of certainty. Although he was not prepared to express his approval of the measure in every particular, either as to what it did or what it did not do, yet he thought that the Universities would have just cause of complaint if they were kept longer in suspense; and he also desired it to pass because he anticipated that the result of the measure would be greatly to increase the usefulness of the Universities. Since the passing of the Acts 20 years ago there had been great activity at both Universities, and considerable efforts had been made to render their teaching wider and larger, and to include a greater range of subjects. He spoke principally of Cambridge, though he believed his observations applied as well to Oxford, and he thought that both Universities would do much more if there were funds applicable for their purposes. The Colleges were the only source from which such funds could be supplied; and the Colleges themselves—or, at least, the greater part of them—acknowledged the claim the Universities had upon them, and were perfectly willing to contribute. He, for one, felt that the Universities urgently required additional funds; and thinking that this Bill provided the proper sources from which they would be derived, he could not but hope that the Bill would pass. He would give it his cordial approval and assent. As to the Amendment of the noble Lord (Lord Colchester), he did not agree with him that there should be any further inquiry or that any was required before Parliament proceeded to legislate. There was a larger amount of information already collected than most persons appeared to be aware of, and whatever amount of information might be got together, still the main working of the Bill must be left in the hands of the Commissioners themselves.


also agreed that no further inquiry was necessary prior to legislation. He must be allowed here to say that the Universities and Parliament ought to acknowledge the fairness and impartiality with which the noble Marquess in charge of the measure had considered the many and difficult questions involved in it. There was one point on which he desired a statement from the noble Marquess. He perceived that the Bill proposed to deal with Schools and Colleges in a different manner, and he hoped the noble Marquess would explain the reason why such a course was adopted.


said, that the measure of this year was in many ways superior to the Bill of last Session. With much that had fallen from his noble Friend who had moved the Amendment he quite agreed; but he did not agree that there should be any further preliminary investigation, because it was quite clear that everything would depend upon the manner in which the Commissioners carried out the provisions of this Bill. Under this Bill the Colleges would not be called upon to stand and deliver without being told for what they were going to give up their resources. That fact would, he believed, conciliate a great deal of the opposition which might otherwise have been expected from those Colleges which would be selected by the Commissioners as proper subjects for the prosecution of their inquiries and as proper sources from which to secure revenue. Besides, this Bill was more symmetrical in its details; its objects were more clearly defined, and the means to achieve those objects were more amply set forth. He still thought that too great partiality was exhibited for the University system. He should view with extreme alarm any attempt to weaken, still more to destroy, what he regarded as the excellence of the present College system, and he was therefore glad to see the safeguards which had been embodied in the Bill now under consideration. As the Bill was infinitely better than the one of last year, and as it had already been fully considered in "another place," he hoped it would be passed into law this Session.


said, he did not think it was necessary for him to reply to the interesting speech of his noble Friend below the Gangway (Lord Colchester), because every subsequent speaker had expressed himself satisfied with the information already obtained on the subject; and, generally, their Lordships appeared to be of opinion that they ought not for the sake of any addition to their already abundant knowledge expose the Universities to the great evil and expense of further delay. The truth was that whatever they did—whatever conclusion they arrived at, they could not within that building pass a measure wholly adapted to the Universities. That must be done within the Universities themselves—what they must do was to entrust large powers, with proper safeguards, to the Commissioners, and confide to them the subsidiary inquiries which might be necessary. Of this he was assured—that no inquiry their Lordships' House could order would be more satisfactory than that which his noble and learned Friend opposite (Lord Selborne) would doubtless think it his duty to make. In reference to what his noble Friend who had just spoken (Viscount Midleton) had said, he must, for his own part, disclaim having any animosity to the College system, and he declined to identify the non-resident Fellows with that system. All the advantages obtained from the Colleges were not conferred by the non-resident Fellows; but they involved a thorny subject, and an odium almost equal to the odium theologicum was approached when it was mentioned, and he had somewhat avoided it in re-introducing the Bill this Session. There was one fact he desired to recommend to his noble Friend. If he (the Marquess of Salisbury) was on the Commission, and found himself in that impossible condition of having his own way, a larger change would, he thought, be made in the case of non-resident Fellows than was at all likely to come into effect from this Bill. But he was not on the Commission, and had not the slightest influence on those who were on it. The character and attainments of its mem- bers were well known, and he did not think the most Conservative among their Lordships had any reason to fear the adoption of revolutionary measures. As to the College system, he would only say that no men were more intensely orthodox than those who formed the Commission. He felt, therefore, that the fears of his noble Friend had no strong foundation. For his part, he did not think that the system of non-resident Fellows was destined to perpetual duration; he believed it impossible to defend it logically, but that was no necessary reason why it should be abolished at once. If they were to abolish everything, the existence of which could not be logically defended, they would have a good deal to do in the way of re-construction. He did not think that they were prepared to get rid of the system referred to at present. They would be only willing to dispense with it as far as it might be necessary to secure funds for the Universities as places of education. Then as to the constitution of the Universities—that, too, was a thorny subject. He quite agreed that as to what should form a proper constitution of the Universities there might be differences of opinion; but he was not prepared to hand over the country clergy connected with the Universities to the condemnation of noble Lords opposite. He looked upon the country clergy as the fly-wheel of the University machine. The noble Lord the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Lord Carlingford) had made use of the phrase "the real University." That he (the Marquess of Salisbury) thought was a phrase which he once heard from the lips of Mr. Bright in reference to the occasion when the abolition of the Paper Duties was rejected by that House. The measure, he said, was lost by 29, by those who had been brought up to vote, but it had been carried by "the real House of Lords." He suspected that Mr. Bright was about as right in speaking of the Peers who ordinarily worked the machinery of the House of Lords as the "real" House of Lords as the noble Lord had been right in saying that those who ordinarily worked the academical system were entitled to the name of the "real University." The truth was that the outside Members—those who formed what might be called the stragglers of any Legislative Body—were useful for the purpose he had just indicated—they prevented legislation from falling into the hands of a clique, or being dominated by a faction, and they gave to its aims a certain degree of steadiness and persistency. He therefore by no means desired to underrate their usefulness. There was one little matter to which reference had been made in the course of the debate, and to which he should like to advert—namely, the position of the Schools under the Bill. It had been said that they had had a stronger protection afforded to them than that given to the Colleges under the Bill. But he thought that one-half the amount of protection given to the Colleges had been overlooked. They were entitled to place upon the Commission three of their Members whenever the statutes which referred to them were under discussion. The Schools did not and could not enjoy the same privilege, because there was no Governing Body of the character which enabled the Colleges to be represented, and it was necessary to find some other form of protection. The Government, therefore, fell back upon the precedent of 1854, which affected the Schools and Colleges alike. The appearance of the Schools in the Bill was but subsidiary, and it was not likely to alter their status; but the protection given to them would relieve them from any fears which they might entertain. He had now only to express, in conclusion, his gratification at the general goodwill with which the Bill had been received, and the prospect which that goodwill afforded that the measure would pass into law during the present Session.

On Question, Whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the Motion? Resolved in the Affirmative.

Then the original Motion was agreed to.

Bill read 2ª accordingly.


said, he understood from the draftsman that there were many alterations which it would be necessary to make, and he proposed to go into Committee pro formâ on Thursday in order that the Bill might be re-printed. He should then ask their Lordships to go into Committee on the Bill on Thursday week, July 12.

Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.